Tuesday, 05 November 2013
Press Release: FSC Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee Holds Inaugural Meeting
OTTAWA – The Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee (PIPC) held its inaugural meeting to explore ways to strengthen and renew engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Created by the FSC membership during the 2011 General Assembly, the PIPC has held a series of five regional meetings over the past eighteen months in preparation for the start-up gathering which occurred 28-30 October 2013.
The purpose of the PIPC is to serve as a permanent mechanism for engaging Indigenous Peoples around issues of forest management and FSC certification. As a Standing Committee of the FSC International Board of Directors, the PIPC will provide ongoing guidance on decisions affecting the FSC system.
Recently, the FSC membership endorsed a new set of Principles and Criteria, the foundation for FSC’s standards of forest management around the world, which include the strongest normative statement on Indigenous rights among all certification systems globally. With approval of the new Principles and Criteria, FSC requires certified companies to uphold principles of Free Prior and Informed Consent, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169.
“FSC is the world’s leading example of natural resource management with – and increasingly by – Indigenous nations,” said Bradley Young, inaugural Chair of the PIPC and Executive Director of the National Aboriginal Forestry Association. “The Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee will serve as a touchstone for diverse perspectives to support respectful management of the world’s forests,” he added.
The members of the PIPC (including the alternates) are as follows: (Please note that organizational affiliations above are included for identification purposes only):
- George Asher (Alternate), Lake Taupo Forest Trust & Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust, New Zealand / Pacific
- Anders Blom, Protect Sapmi Foundation, Northern Europe
- Yati Bun, Foundation for People and Community Development, Papua New Guinea / Oceania
- Juan Carlos Ocampo Zamora, Pueblo Miskito, Nicaragua / Central America
- Diego Ivan Escobar Guzman, Coordinadora de las organizaciones indígenas de la cuenca amazónica (COICA), Mexico / Amazon Basin
- Pablo Huaiquilao (Alternate), Mapuche Peoples of Chile, South America
- Abdull Maal (Alternate), Koerasi Hutan Jaya Lestari and Regency Konawe Seltan of South East Sulawesi, Indonesia / Asia
- Nicholas Mujah Ason, Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), Malaysia / Asia
- Selvyn Pérez (Alternate), Maya K’iche of Guatemala, Mexico / Central America
- Jan Saijets (Alternate), Sami people of Finland, Northern Europe
- Rodion Sulyandziga, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), Russia / Far North
- Bradley Young, National Aboriginal Forestry Association, Canada / North America
“The Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee is one of our major platforms to drive greater performance in the FSC system,” said Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC. “We look forward to their guidance and engagement as we work to strengthen and grow our reach and positive impact,” he added.
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental organization that promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. FSC was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests. FSC sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products. Currently more than 183 million hectares and 27,000 companies are certified to FSC standards worldwide. For more information visit www.fsc.org.